By Gunter Herbig. By Bela Bartok, Bruce Paine, David Farquhar, John Elmsly, and John Rimmer. Classical. CD. Naxos #8573765. Published by Naxos (NX.8573765).
In this second volume of his revelatory exploration (Volume 1 is on 8.572185), admired instrumentalist Gunter Herbig continues to trace the guitar's flourishingculture in New Zealand. Bruce Paine's deft pieces embrace the lyrical, mystical and dance-like, whilst David Farquhar- whose beautiful transcriptions of Bartok's For Children are also included- is represented at his most haunting and forward-looking in Five Scenes. Color saturates John Elmsly's Suite and John Rimmer captures the extraordinary atmosphere of the island of Hauturu, performed here in Herbig's own exquisite arrangement. Gunter Herbig was born in Brazil and grew up in Portugal and Germany. Influenced by such different cultures and aesthetic languages, he has developed a highly personal, charismatic, and expressive style of playing and performance, which sets him well apart from his contemporaries. The balance of Brazilian sensuousness, Portuguese intense passion and German intellect and finesse are the hallmark of his playing. His performance and interpretation philosophy centers on the personal and subjective approach to music as a direct way to create an even triable between the composer, the performer, and the audience and puts the sense of musical adventure and exploration back on stage. His dynamic and expressive sense of adventure has made him an audience favorite on the concert platform wherever he goes and has won universal praise from ciritics in the international music world. In his distinguished teaching career, Gunter Herbig led the guitar departments of Auckland University for over twenty years and was Head of Chamber Music at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington.